The Birmingham Barons blew two saves Thursday en route to a 7-6 loss to the Jacksonville Suns at The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
The Barons seized control early scoring a run in the second on an RBI double by Kevan Smith and two additional runs in the third inning on Christian Marrero's RBI single and a ground-rule double by Rangel Ravelo. Smith finished 3-for-5 with an RBI in the contest while Ravelo finished 2-for-5 with two doubles, bringing his team-leading total to 20.
Starter Chris Beck was stellar allowing just four hits over 7.0 shutout innings as the Barons carried a 3-0 lead into the ninth.
They'd tack on two additional runs in the top of the inning capped by a Luis Sierra RBI single to take what looked to be a comfortable 5-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth.
J.T. Realmuto started the Suns rally with a base hit against reliever Cody Winiarski who was in his second inning of work. A walk to Brady Shoemaker and a hit-by-pitch taken by Joe Benson loaded the bases. Ryan Rieger plated the Suns' first run of the game by working a walk against the Winiarski who was then replaced by Kevin Vance. He wouldn't fair much better allowing RBI base hits to Terrance Dayleg, Brent Keys and Austin Barnes tying the score at 5-5.
Christian Marrero briefly swung momentum back in the Barons' favor in the tenth inning hitting a one out solo home run against reliever Collin Cargill (2-1, 2.88) as the Barons reclaimed the lead at 6-5.
However, the Suns would not be denied on this night. After a one-out walk to Joe Benson by Vance, he was replaced by Bryan Blough (2-2, 3.59). On the first pitch Blough threw to Alex Burg, he deposited it over the left field wall giving the Suns a victory that seemed improbable just an inning before.
With the loss, the Barons fell to 17-16 in the second half and 46-57 overall while Jacksonville improved to 57-47 and 21-13 in the second half. The Barons will look to capture a series victory tomorrow night as RHP Myles Jaye (1-9, 6.59) takes the hill with first pitch is scheduled for 6:05 PM CDT.